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  • Author or Editor: Sergey Y. Matrosov x
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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Peter T. May
, and
Matthew D. Shupe

Abstract

An attenuation-based method to retrieve vertical profiles of rainfall rate from vertically pointing Ka-band radar measurements has been refined and adjusted for use with the U.S. Department of Energy’s cloud radars deployed at multiple Atmospheric Radiation Program (ARM) test bed sites. This method takes advantage of the linear relationship between the rainfall rate and the attenuation coefficient, and can account for a priori information about the vertical profile of nonattenuated reflectivity. The retrieval method is applied to a wide variety of rainfall events observed at different ARM sites ranging from stratiform events with low-to-moderate rainfall rates (∼5 mm h−1) to heavy convective rains with rainfall rates approaching 100 mm h−1. The Ka-band attenuation-based retrieval results expressed in both instantaneous rainfall rates and in rainfall accumulations are compared to available surface data and measurements of a scanning C-band precipitation polarimetric radar located near the Darwin, Australia, ARM test bed site. The Ka-band retrievals are found to be in good agreement with the C-band radar estimates, which are based both on conventional radar reflectivity approaches and on polarimetric differential phase shift measurements. Typically, the C-band–Ka-band radar estimate differences are within the expected retrieval uncertainties. The magnitude of the Ka-band rainfall-rate estimate error depends on the retrieval resolution, rain intensity, and uncertainties in the profiles of nonattenuated reflectivity. It is shown that reasonable retrieval accuracies (∼15%–40%) can be achieved for a large dynamic range of observed rainfall rates (4–100 mm h−1) and the effective vertical resolution of about 1 km. The potential enhancements of the Ka-band attenuation-based method by including a priori information on vertical profiles of nonattenuated reflectivity and increasing the height range of the retrievals by using Ka-band polarization measurements are also discussed. The addition of the precipitation products to the suite of ARM hydrometeor retrievals can enhance the overall characterization of the vertical atmospheric column.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Alexei V. Korolev
, and
Andrew J. Heymsfield

Abstract

A remote sensing method is proposed for the retrievals of vertical profiles of ice cloud microphysical parameters from ground-based measurements of radar reflectivity and Doppler velocity with a vertically pointed cloud radar. This method relates time-averaged Doppler velocities (which are used as a proxy for the reflectivity-weighted particle fall velocities) to particle characteristic sizes such as median or mean. With estimated profiles of particle characteristic size, profiles of cloud ice water content (IWC) are then calculated using reflectivity measurements. The method accounts for the intrinsic correlation between particle sizes and parameters of the fall velocity–size relations. It also accounts for changes of particle bulk density with size. The range of applicability of this method encompasses ice-phase clouds and also mixed-phase clouds that contain liquid drops, which are small compared to ice particles, so the radar signals are dominated by these larger particles. It is, however, limited to the observational situations without strong up- and downdrafts, so the residual of mean vertical air motions is small enough compared to the reflectivity-weighted cloud particle fall velocities. The Doppler-velocity reflectivity method was applied to the data obtained with an 8.6-mm wavelength radar when observing Arctic clouds. Typical retrieval uncertainties are about 35%–40% for particle characteristic size and 60%–70% for IWC, though in some cases IWC uncertainties can be as high as factor of 2 (i.e., −50%, +100%). Comparisons with in situ data for one observational case yielded 25% and 55% differences in retrieved and in situ estimates of characteristic size and IWC, respectively. The results of the microphysical retrievals obtained from the remote sensing method developed here were compared with data obtained from the multisensor technique that utilizes combined radar–IR radiometer measurements. For pure ice-phase layers unobstructed by liquid clouds (i.e., conditions where the multisensor approach is applicable), the relative standard deviations between the results of both remote sensing approaches were about 27% for mean particle size and 38% for IWC, with relative biases of only 5% and 20%, respectively.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Alexei V. Korolev
, and
Andrew J. Heymsfield
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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Carl G. Schmitt
,
Maximilian Maahn
, and
Gijs de Boer

Abstract

A remote sensing approach to retrieve the degree of nonsphericity of ice hydrometeors using scanning polarimetric Ka-band radar measurements from a U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program cloud radar operated in an alternate transmission–simultaneous reception mode is introduced. Nonsphericity is characterized by aspect ratios representing the ratios of particle minor-to-major dimensions. The approach is based on the use of a circular depolarization ratio (CDR) proxy reconstructed from differential reflectivity Z DR and copolar correlation coefficient ρ linear polarization measurements. Essentially combining information contained in Z DR and ρ , CDR-based retrievals of aspect ratios are fairly insensitive to hydrometeor orientation if measurements are performed at elevation angles of around 40°–50°. The suggested approach is applied to data collected using the third ARM Mobile Facility (AMF3), deployed to Oliktok Point, Alaska. Aspect ratio retrievals were also performed using Z DR measurements that are more strongly (compared to CDR) influenced by hydrometeor orientation. The results of radar-based retrievals are compared with in situ measurements from the tethered balloon system (TBS)-based video ice particle sampler and the ground-based multiangle snowflake camera. The observed ice hydrometeors were predominantly irregular-shaped ice crystals and aggregates, with aspect ratios varying between approximately 0.3 and 0.8. The retrievals assume that particle bulk density influencing (besides the particle shape) observed polarimetric variables can be deduced from the estimates of particle characteristic size. Uncertainties of CDR-based aspect ratio retrievals are estimated at about 0.1–0.15. Given these uncertainties, radar-based retrievals generally agreed with in situ measurements. The advantages of using the CDR proxy compared to the linear depolarization ratio are discussed.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Patrick C. Kennedy
, and
Robert Cifelli

Abstract

Correcting observed polarimetric radar variables for attenuation and differential attenuation effects in rain is important for meteorological applications involving measurements at attenuating frequencies such as those at X band. The results of estimating the coefficients in the correction-scheme relations from dual-wavelength polarimetric radar measurements of rainfall involving attenuating and nonattenuating frequencies are described. Such coefficients found directly from measurements are essentially free from different assumptions about drop shapes, drop size distributions, and/or relations between different radar variables that are typically used in many attenuation and differential attenuation correction schemes. Experimentally based estimates derived using dual-wavelength radar measurements conducted during a project in northern Colorado indicate values of the coefficients in the attenuation–differential phase quasi-linear relations at X band in the approximate range of 0.20–0.31 dB deg−1. The corresponding coefficients in the differential attenuation–differential phase relations are in the range of 0.052–0.065 dB deg−1.

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Alexander Myagkov
,
Patric Seifert
,
Ulla Wandinger
,
Matthias Bauer-Pfundstein
, and
Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental analysis of the antenna system effects on polarimetric measurements conducted with cloud radars operating in the linear depolarization ratio (LDR) mode. Amplitude and phase of the copolar and cross-polar antenna patterns are presented and utilized. The patterns of two antennas of different quality were measured at the Hungriger Wolf airport near Hohenlockstedt, Germany, during the period from 28 January to 1 February 2014. For the measurements a test transmitter mounted on a tower and the scanning 35-GHz (Ka band) cloud radar MIRA-35, manufactured by METEK GmbH and operated in the receiving mode, were used. The integrated cross-polarization ratios (ICPR) are calculated for both antennas and compared with those measured in light rain. Correction algorithms for observed LDR and the co-cross-channel correlation coefficient ρ are presented. These algorithms are aimed at removing/mitigating polarization cross-coupling effects that depend on the quality of radar hardware. Thus, corrected LDR and ρ are primarily influenced by scatterer properties. The corrections are based on the decomposition of the coherency matrix of the received signals into fully polarized and nonpolarized components. The correction brings LDR values and the co-cross-channel correlation coefficients from two radars with different antenna systems to a close agreement, thus effectively removing hardware-dependent biases. Uncertainties of the correction are estimated as 3 dB for LDR in the range from −30 to −10 dB. In clouds, the correction of the co-cross-channel correlation coefficient ρ results in near-zero values for both vertically pointed radars.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Roger F. Reinking
,
Robert A. Kropfli
, and
Bruce W. Bartram

Abstract

An approach to distinguish between various types of ice hydrometeors and to estimate their shapes using radar polarization measurements is discussed. It is shown that elevation angle dependencies of radar depolarization ratios can be used to distinguish between planar crystals, columnar crystals, and aggregates in reasonably homogeneous stratiform clouds. Absolute values of these ratios depend on the reflectivity-weighted mean particle aspect ratio in the polarization plane. Circular depolarization ratios depend on this ratio, and linear depolarization ratios depend on this ratio and particle orientation in the polarization plane. The use of nearly circular elliptical polarization provides a means of measuring depolarization for low reflectivity scatterers when the circular polarization fails due to low signal level in one of the receiving channels. Modeling of radar backscattering was applied to the elliptical depolarization ratios as measured by the Ka-band radar developed at the NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory. Experimental data taken during the Winter Icing and Storms Instrument Test experiment in 1993 generally confirmed the calculations and demonstrated the applicability of the approach.

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Matthew D. Shupe
,
Pavlos Kollias
,
Sergey Y. Matrosov
, and
Timothy L. Schneider

Abstract

In certain circumstances, millimeter-wavelength Doppler radar velocity spectra can be used to estimate the microphysical composition of both phases of mixed-phase clouds. This distinction is possible when the cloud properties are such that they produce a bimodal Doppler velocity spectrum. Under these conditions, the Doppler spectrum moments of the distinct liquid and ice spectral modes may be computed independently and used to quantitatively derive properties of the liquid droplet and ice particle size distributions. Additionally, the cloud liquid spectral mode, which is a tracer for clear-air motions, can be used to estimate the vertical air motion and to correct estimates of ice particle fall speeds.

A mixed-phase cloud case study from the NASA Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cloud Layers- Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE) is used to illustrate this new retrieval approach. The case of interest occurred on 29 July 2002 when a supercooled liquid cloud layer based at 5 km AGL and precipitating ice crystals advected over a ground measurement site. Ground-based measurements from both 35- and 94-GHz radars revealed clear bimodal Doppler velocity spectra within this cloud layer. Profiles of radar reflectivity were computed independently from the liquid and ice spectral modes of the velocity spectra. Empirical reflectivity- based relationships were then used to derive profiles of both liquid and ice microphysical parameters, such as water content and particle size. Although the ice crystals extended down to a height of 4 km, the radar measurements were able to distinguish the base of the cloud liquid at 5 km, in good agreement with cloud-base measurements from a collocated micropulse lidar. Furthermore, radar-derived cloud liquid water paths were in good agreement with liquid water paths derived from a collocated microwave radiometer.

Results presented here demonstrate the ability of the radar to both identify and quantify the presence of both phases in some mixed-phase clouds. They also demonstrate that, in terms of radar reflectivity, the ice component of mixed-phase clouds typically dominates the radar signal, while in terms of mean Doppler velocity, the liquid component can make a significant contribution. The high temporal resolution, 94-GHz Doppler radar observations were able to reveal a periodic cloud-top updraft that, combined with horizontal wind speeds, suggests a horizontal scale for the in-cloud circulations.

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Roger F. Reinking
,
Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Robert A. Kropfli
, and
Bruce W. Bartram

Abstract

A remote sensing capability is needed to detect clouds of supercooled, drizzle-sized droplets, which are a major aircraft icing hazard. Discrimination among clouds of differing ice particle types is also important because both the presence and type of ice influence the survival of liquid in a cloud and the chances for occurrence of these large, most hazardous droplets. This work shows how millimeter-wavelength dual-polarization radar can be used to identify these differing hydrometeors. It also shows that by measuring the depolarization ratio (DR), the estimation of the hydrometeor type can be accomplished deterministically for drizzle droplets; ice particles of regular shapes; and to a considerable extent, the more irregular ice particles, and that discrimination is strongly influenced by the polarization state of the transmitted microwave radiation. Thus, appropriate selection of the polarization state is emphasized.

The selection of an optimal polarization state involves trade-offs in competing factors such as the functional dynamic range of DR, sensitivity to low-reflectivity clouds, and insensitivity to oscillations in the settling orientations of ice crystals. A 45° slant, quasi-linear polarization state, one in which only slight ellipticity is introduced, was found to offer a very good compromise, providing considerable advantages over standard horizontal and substantially elliptical polarizations. This was determined by theoretical scattering calculations that were verified experimentally in field measurements conducted during the Mount Washington Icing Sensors Project (MWISP). A selectable-dual-polarization Ka-band (8.66-mm wavelength) radar was used. A wide variety of hydrometeor types was sampled. Clear differentiation among planar crystals, columnar crystals, and drizzle droplets was achieved. Also, differentiation among crystals of fundamentally different shapes (aspect ratios) within each of the planar and columnar families was found possible. These distinctions matched calculations of DR, usually to within 1 or 2 dB. The results from MWISP and from previous experiments with other polarizations have demonstrated that the agreement between theory and measurements by this method is repeatable. Additionally, although less rigorously predicted by theory, the field measurements demonstrated substantial differentiation among the more irregular and more spherical ice particles, including aggregates, elongated aggregates, heavily rimed dendrites, and graupel. Measurable separation between these various irregular ice particle types and drizzle droplets was also verified.

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C. W. Fairall
,
Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Christopher R. Williams
, and
E. J. Walsh

ABSTRACT

The NOAA W-band radar was deployed on a P-3 aircraft during a study of storm fronts off the U.S. West Coast in 2015 in the second CalWater (CalWater-2) field program. This paper presents an analysis of measured equivalent radar reflectivity factor Z em profiles to estimate the path-averaged precipitation rate and profiles of precipitation microphysics. Several approaches are explored using information derived from attenuation of Z em as a result of absorption and scattering by raindrops. The first approach uses the observed decrease of Z em with range below the aircraft to estimate column mean precipitation rates. A hybrid approach that combines Z em in light rain and attenuation in stronger rain performed best. The second approach estimates path-integrated attenuation (PIA) via the difference in measured and calculated normalized radar cross sections (NRCS m and NRCS c , respectively) retrieved from the ocean surface. The retrieved rain rates are compared to estimates from two other systems on the P-3: a Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) and a Wide-Swath Radar Altimeter (WSRA). The W-band radar gives reasonable values for rain rates in the range 0–10 mm h−1 with an uncertainty on the order of 1 mm h−1. Mean profiles of Z em, raindrop Doppler velocity, attenuation, and precipitation rate in bins of rain rate are also computed. A method for correcting measured profiles of Z em for attenuation to estimate profiles of nonattenuated profiles of Z e is examined. Good results are obtained by referencing the surface boundary condition to the NRCS values of PIA. Limitations of the methods are discussed.

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